HAWKS RUN OVER TIGERS FOR FIRST POSTSEASON VICTORY SINCE 2007
JEWELL — There was no over-confidence or rust, just a determination to prove the hype was warranted.
And you better believe South Hamilton was every bit as good as advertised.
It took the fourth-ranked Hawks only 28 seconds to take control Friday night at Taylor Field and they spent the better part of three periods taking South Hardin behind the woodshed in a Class 1A second-round postseason contest.
Coming off a bye week, South Hamilton (8-0) led 30-0 at the half and 42-0 after three quarters en route to a 42-12 pasting of the Tigers, a District 3 rival during the regular season. It was the Hawks first postseason victory since 2007 and it sent them into a Round of 16 date with No. 7-ranked South Central Calhoun (7-1) in Jewell this Friday.
So much for rust.
“Our kids played really, really physical,” South Hamilton head coach Corey Klemp said. “I suppose a person could worry about being flat after not playing for two weeks, but these kids show over and over who they are in those moments. As much as coaches worry about that stuff, these kids show you that they’re always ready.”
For the better part of a week, the South Hamilton players and coaches heard chatter that South Hardin (6-3) was confident it could contain the Hawks’ ground attack, something it didn’t accomplish back on Sept. 18 when South Hamilton rolled to a 28-6 regular season win.
Yeah, the Tigers were even less successful the second time around.
South Hamilton ripped off 389 rushing yards and out-gained South Hardin 410-145. Bruising halfback Trevor Thompson went off for 200 yards on 21 carries, and fullback Lane Swenson chewed up 102 yards on 13 totes. Speedy halfback Brock Galetich had his number called nine times and picked up 71 yards.
All three backs reached the end zone at least once, as did quarterback Freddie Lewis.
“You hear things and there was a lot going around that they were going to shut down our run and stuff the box, and that proved to be really motivating for our kids,” Klemp said. “They played with a pretty big chip on their shoulders and wanted to prove something, and I think they accomplished that.”
South Hamilton’s defense was equally dominant. South Hardin mustered just 55 yards and were shutout against the Hawks’ starters, who exited the contest for good early in the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored twice on long passes of 44 and 40 yards from quarterback Dante Dolash to Mason Sheldahl over the final 3:02.
South Hardin had a paltry 18 rushing yards on 16 attempts.
South Hamilton’s starting defensive unit has allowed only three touchdowns all season, and the Hawks’ first team has now outscored its opponents 309-19 through eight games.
“Our kids really played fast and we didn’t overthink things,” Klemp said. “We started off early in the week really trying to key certain things or certain players, but really, by the end of the week, we pulled that back and said let’s be us and just play football. Our kids were just really disciplined in that.”
Austin Busch made a team-high 51⁄2 tackles and Thompson finished with 41⁄2. Defensive end Carter Hewitt had a pair of sacks and three total tackles for loss.
Big plays were common early on, as Swenson broke loose on a 67-yard touchdown run on the opening possession of the game, and Galetich galloped 39 yards down the field to the end zone for a two-touchdown lead less than 4 minutes into the contest. Lewis tacked on a 1-yard plunge in the final minute of the first period and the rout was on.
Swenson’s second score — a 6-yard burst up the gut — in the second quarter gave South Hamilton the 30-point cushion at the break.
Thompson, who averaged 9.5 yards per touch, ran by the defense for a 59-yard TD early in the third and Galetich added six points on a 3-yard run with just 15 ticks remaining in the quarter.
So dominant was South Hamilton’s running game that offensive coordinator Kyle Galetich called just one pass play, and that was successful too — a 21-yard hook-up between Lewis and Brock Galetich.
And now it’s on to South Central Calhoun, a program that South Hamilton is plenty familiar with. The two teams have met four times since 2014 and the Titans have won them all, including 21-6 a season ago.
South Central Calhoun reached as high as No. 2 in the Associated Press poll prior to a 32-23 loss to No. 5-ranked Southeast Valley on Sept. 25. The Titans knocked off Dike-New Hartford, 30-22, on Friday to reach the Round of 16.
“It’s an extremely well-coached team,” Klemp said of SCC. “Coach (Bryan) Case, I’ve gotten to know him over the years and it’s a tremendous program. They’ll be very disciplined and they’re very similar to us. They love to play power football, so it will be an extremely physical football game, which is something our kids really enjoy.”
South Hamilton 42, South Hardin 12
Class 1A Second Round Postseason
Friday at Jewell
S. Hardin 0 0 0 12 — 12
S. Hamilton 24 6 12 0 — 42
SHam — Lane Swenson 67 run (Trevor Thompson run), 11:32.
SHam — Brock Galetich 39 run (Galetich run), 8:46.
SHam — Freddie Lewis 1 run (Thompson run), 0:38.
SHam — Swenson 6 run (run failed), 9:08.
SHam — Thompson 59 run (run failed), 8:51.
SHam — Galetich 3 run (run failed), 0:15.
SHar — Mason Sheldahl 44 pass from Dante Dolash (run failed), 3:02.
SHar — Sheldahl 40 pass from Dolash, 0:00.
Rushing — SHar: Wyatt Hollingsworth 3-13, Dante Dolash 1-6, Beau Butler 11-1, Cody Dupee 1-(-2). SHam: Trevor Thompson 21-200, Lane Swenson 13-102, Brock Galetich 9-71, Landen Skartvedt 1-7, Freddie Lewis 6-6, Gavin Swenson 2-3.
Passing — SHar: Dolash 10-22-0 127. SHam: Lewis 1-1-0 21.
Receiving — SHar: Mason Sheldahl 3-78, Ryan Walters 2-20, Dupee 1-18, Butler 2-8, John Walters 1-2, Nolan Gehrke 1-1. SHam: Galetich 1-21.
Tackles — SHam: Austin Busch 51⁄2, Thompson 41⁄2, Dominic Summers 31⁄2, Carter Hewitt 31⁄2, Galetich 21⁄2, L. Swenson 21⁄2, Colton Willis 21⁄2, Skartvedt 2, Elijah Balderas 2, Tycin Barkema 1, Gatlin Johnson 1, G. Swenson 1⁄2, Kyler Hodnefield 1⁄2.